According to a United Nations relief agency, at least 64 civilians have been killed in Ukraine as there have been more than 240 civilian casualties following Russia’s invasion of its neighboring country has been going on for several days now.
More than 160,000 Ukrainian civilians are on the move throughout the country, looking to escape the conflict.
“As of 5:00 p.m. on 26 February, [U.N. human rights office] OHCHR reports at least 240 civilian casualties, including at least 64 dead,” reported the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in a status update.
The report also noted that the true figures were very likely to be “considerably higher.” Damage done to civilian infrastructure has also left hundreds of thousands of residents without electricity or access to water.
So far hundreds of homes have been damaged or completely destroyed, and bridges and roads struck by shelling has cut off some communities from markets, as the report continued. It also cited the U.N. refugee agency as noting that over 160,000 people had been displaced in the country as more than 116,000 were forced to flee into surrounding countries.
“U.N. agencies and humanitarian partners have been forced to suspend operations due to the deteriorating security station,” said OCHA. “The U.N. and its partners maintain their presence across the country and remain committed to staying on the ground and responding to growing humanitarian needs and protection risks once the situation permits.”
To confront the increasing crisis in Ukraine, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has activated its Response Force for the first time in its history. While President Joe Biden said that the U.S. would not be sending troops directly into Ukraine, over 8,000 U.S. troops were tapped to be on heightened alert to bolster Europe’s NATO countries surrounding Ukraine.
ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: MERCURY NEWS